An experimental study of inbreeding depression in a natural habitat

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Science  14 Oct 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5183, pp. 271-273
DOI: 10.1126/science.7939661


Inbreeding is known to lead to decreased survival and reproduction in captive populations of animals. It is also important to know whether inbreeding has deleterious effects in natural habitats. An estimate was made of the effects of inbreeding in white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis, derived from a wild population. This study demonstrates that inbreeding had a significant detrimental effect on the survivorship of mice reintroduced into a natural habitat. This effect was more severe than the effect observed in laboratory studies of the population.

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